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  • Traveling with Pets

    Be sure to check this section out before you hit the road with your pet! We've got a look at pet-friendly hotels, the guidelines of air, train, bus and auto travel, and much more. Read More
  • All About Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Read More
  • All About Dogs

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, facts, news and stories about dogs. Read More
  • All About Horses

    Learn about equine science, whether you're an aspiring rider or a long-time owner, we have the latest in products, breeds, and more. Read More
  • All About Fish and Ponds

    If you're a novice fish and pond enthusiast, join us as we discover the newest aquariums, beautiful backyards, and plenty of informative information about fish. Read More
  • All About Birds

    If the avian life is for you, we've got a look at the best products, interesting species, and how to select and care for birds. Read More
  • Walking on the Wild Side

    Check out our animal profiles, rescues, articles, news and profiles - all about wild animals Read More
  • Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Learn about behavior from our team of experts. Whether you have cats, dogs, reptiles, horses or birds, we can help you learn to live with them. Read More
  • All About Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! Read More
  • All About Cats

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, feline facts, news and stories. Read More
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  • Animals and Their Souls

    I was talking with a co-worker the other day and he informed me that animals do not have emotions. This occurred just after he told me (the day that I put my dog of 17 yrs down) that animals do not have souls and therefore will never enjoy the concept of heaven.

    Now, this co-worker has the disadvantage of being, what I refer to, as a "bible-thumper." He is, in fact, a born-again Christian. Please bear in mind that I have nothing against Christians, nor do I have anything against religion in general. I do, however, have a problem with this co-worker passing along faulty information. Animals do have emotions and they also have souls, and I'll tell you how I know that... In over twenty years of working with animals, I have never seen a kitten duct-tape a live human baby to a freeway. I also have never seen a cat find enjoyment from setting a human on fire.

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  • The FeedSafe Feeding Station for Feeding Individual Diets

    In multi-pet homes, keeping pets out of the others food is of critical importance. If you have a chow-hound who loves to invade your cat's food bowls (or any other situation that requires feeding individual diets in multi-pet homes), we have a solution for you.

    The name of this innovative product is the Feed-Safe Feeding Station.

    Feed Safe is a durable enclosure that easily stops larger pets from raiding your smaller pet's food bowl. Not only does this stop other your dog from raiding your cat's food, it can give critters like ferrets a safe place to eat while they're roaming around in their free time. It can also be easily adjusted to help separate kitten or puppy food from the mama-cat or mama-dog.

    This is also a very useful solution for animals who tend to be slow eaters, or those who are on a prescription diet.

    Another unexpected benefit was being able to keep the cats off the counters! We admit - we have some bad habits and the cats will usually eat their canned food on the counter. This is not the cleanest way to handle the situation, but placing the food on the floor became impossible with our quick acting dogs. This is a great way to let your cats eat their canned foods at their own pace without being on the counter top and without being harassed by larger pets.

    Read More
  • Keeping You and Your Pets Safe Without Power in Winter

    The weather is moody as a wild cat and these days, no one really knows what to expect. When a cold front moves in, it can easily cause road delays making you late for dinner or freeze power lines and take out heaters.

    That means dangerous conditions for our pets, as well ourselves.

    You already know the basics: Keep your pets indoors, make sure any outdoor animals (horses, cattle, even feral cats) have access to extra calories and warm blankets, as well as covered shelter. I"m sure you also remember that you cold-weather and aquatic pets are going to require extra care until power is restored.

    But, once you get past the basics, there are a few other things to consider, particularly when it comes to birds, aquariums, reptiles and stray animals or livestock. You'll also want to look at some alternative ways to keep you and your pets entertained - and we've got plenty of suggestions for you.

    Read More
  • 10 Possible Reasons Your Cat Is Behaving Badly

    If your healthy cat is suddenly peeing on your bed or spraying in your office, if he's taken to running around at strange hours of the night, or mewing inconsolably all night, there are several possible explanations. Of course, you must always take them in for a vet check to eliminate any possible health conditions like blockages or disease. But health problems have been eliminated and your cat is still acting out inappropriately, here are some possible explanations.

    Room Deodorizers

    Everyone has probably used a room deodorizer in their home, particularly if they have cats. One of the most common places to put diffusers and other such items are near the litter-box. Avoid doing this! It can cause undue stress on  your cats and even make it difficult for them to use the litter box.

    Solve This: Instead of placing a deodorizer or diffuser near your cat's box, try one of the helpful Litter Box Deodorizers on the market. You can also tape live charcoal on the side or the bottom of the box or sprinkle the box with baking soda prior to putting cat litter inside.

    Read More
  • Choosing a Ferret as a Pet

    Ferrets are intelligent, mischievous members of the"mustilidae" family, which means they are cousins with mink, weasels, skunks and even the European polecat. These little guys capture our hearts with their antics and are a great addition to any home (as long as you don't live in New York, California, Hawaii or Washington D.C. where ferrets are outlawed). Before you think about purchasing or adopting a ferret, be sure you check your local laws as well as the laws and regulations at local levels (including your home owners association).

    If you've done your homework and you think you're ready to add one of these charismatic creatures to your home, we have a host of articles to help you integrate them into your family and keep them healthy. Remember that a ferret's normal lifespan is 7-9 years, so you need to be sure you're ready to commit that time to this entertaining and affectionate pet.

    Read More
  • 10 Weird Things We Have to Explain to Visitors

    We love our animals. We mostly tolerate humans. Out of about 7+ billion people on the planet (which, let’s face it, is WAY too many) - I enjoy the company of maybe, I don’t know, maybe 26 of them.

    Eventually, though, we all have to interact with our own species. The holidays are coming up and we’ll have to socialize and attend parties and do human stuff. And let’s face it - humans aren’t so bad when they love animals as much as you do.

    When we are feeling sociable enough to allow visitors, there are invariably things that we have to explain.

    If you have animals, you probably already know about these things. But if you don't, here's what we will probably need to help you understand...

    Read More
  • Guide to Hiking Etiquette with Dogs

    Cooler weather is on the way, and as the leaves change their colors to red and gold hues, it means many of us will be once again hitting the trails with our best four-legged friends.

    Let's face it - nothing cleanses the soul like a relaxing hike through the wilderness. Whether you want to enjoy the rich colors of wildflowers in that remote desert valley, or just want to run a few miles through the pines, it’s important to make sure everyone out there has the same level of enjoyment as you do. So dust off the walking stick and renew your wild spirit, but make sure you follow trail etiquette when you take your pets along.

    Dogs are usually naturals on the trailhead. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to watch them carefully - there are plenty of dangers in the wild - from poisonous mushrooms to cacti, and coyotes to rattlesnakes (not to mention hunters of the two-legged variety).

    This is why it’s so important to understand the basics of hiking etiquette. Here's a primer to get you started...

    Read More
  • Dog Etiquette: Leashes

    Recently, we posted on Facebook that we were out walking our dogs and experienced two small, off-leash dogs aggressively running to our much larger, leashed dogs. My dogs were both on-leash and controlled, but I was still annoyed. After posting my experience, I received a lot of responses - some of which were a bit negative due to the fact that one of my dogs looks like a pit bull (apparently I shouldn't be walking him?). Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter if my dogs are pit bulls or chihuahuas or golden retrievers. In fact, I could have been walking alone, or riding a horse, or walking my cat. The fact is, dogs of any size should never run up on another person or animal without being invited to do so. It’s a common courtesy that could save your dog’s life.

    Here are just a few reasons why...

    Read More
  • 4 Favorite Pet-friendly USA Hikes

    Nothing cleanses the soul more than a day of hiking in an ancient forest with only yourself and your best four-legged friend as company. I don't know about you, but as I've matured, I've gained a stronger appreciation for the simple things in life. While we probably hiked when we were younger, we may not have noticed the rich hues of wildflowers or the tenacity of a wild mushroom growing under the cover of a 200-year-old pine tree... 

    But before you head into the wilds with your dog, it's important to choose your trail carefully, carry a GPS tracker, know your pets (and your own) limitations, and let others know exactly where you’re going and when you plan to return.

    Hiking with dogs requires only slightly more planning. Rules and regulations vary according to trail-head and park areas, so be sure to contact your local forest service before taking your pets along. Start slowly and work into more intense trail heads or you may find yourself carrying an exhausted dog out in your backpack.

    There’s a hike for whatever part of the country you’re in and whatever skill level you’re working around, but these are a few of our favorite day hikes around the country.

    Read More
  • 5 Things You Should Know Before Getting a Ferret

    Ferrets are amazing animals. We love watching them hop around, curl up into a tight little ball to doze the day away, and the way they steal anything they find interesting - laughing as they run away with the item. They are the most entertaining pet you can have and make great pets.

    That said, there are a few things you should know before you run out to the store and buy one. We have them listed below and hope you'll take time to read before adopting.

    Here are five things you should know before bringing home a ferret.

    Read More
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Tipping Guide for Pet Professionals

Gratuities can be a bone of contention among many pet parents. They shouldn't be, though. We entrust others with the Read More

Swiffer and BarkBox Remind New Pet Parents that #ShedHappens

Everyone remembers their first pet. Whether it was a guinea pig, hamster, dog or a cat - nothing beats that feeling Read More

Police Dog Killed in Anti-Terrorist Raids #RIPDiesel

Photo Credit: CNNPhoto Credit: CNNThe Paris attacks have had a profound effect on everyone in the world. The animal world Read More

How to Clean Your Dog's Ears with #BayerExpertCare

This week we were asked to try out a few new products from the Bayer® ExpertCare™ lineup. For those who Read More

Make Holidays Fun with #BLUESantaSnacks for Dogs

The holidays are rapidly approaching and we’re looking for clever ways to share the holiday joy with our canine friends. Read More

Wild DIY Treat Containers for Dog Parks with #NaturalBalance

We’re always hunting for new ways to give away treats. This is a fun way to stretch a bag of Read More
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Today, the US Postal Service (USPS) released the "Top Dog Bite Cities" - a list of the nation's most common dog attack locales. Houston, Texas tops the list with 62 letter carriers attacked in 2010. San Diego, CA and Columbus, OH came in second and third with a total of 45 postal carrier bites in each city, while Los Angeles came in a not-so-distant fourth with 44 attacks. A little surprisingly was Louisville, KY who ranked fifth with 40 bites and San Antonio, TX with thirty. Cleveland, OH and Phoenix, AZ ranked 8th and 9th the national attacks with 38 in each city. These findings were released in recognition of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which falls on May 15–21 of this year. On a national level, a total of 5,669 postal employees were attacked in more than 1,400 cities.  But when you look at the total average, that's not so bad. Dogs bite over 4.7 million Americans nationally - but less than 1 percent of those bitten are postal workers.

“We often hear two comments relating to the Postal Service, ‘the check’s in the mail,’ and ‘don’t worry, my dog won’t bite’. Given the right circumstances, any dog can bite. Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem,” said Matthew Lopez, Houston Postmaster. “Working with animal behavior experts, we’ve developed tips to avoid dog attacks, and for dog owners, tips for practicing responsible pet ownership.” The top ten dog-bite cities are listed here (click here for a complete list):

Rank City State # of Bites
1 Houston TX 62
2 San Diego CA 45
3 Columbus OH 45
4 Los Angeles CA 44
5 Louisville KY 40
6 San Antonio TX 39
7 St. Louis MO 39
8 Cleveland OH 38
9 Phoenix AZ 38
10 Minneapolis MN 35

While we know the risks that city, state and federal employees are forced to deal with each day, what is more important about this report is preventing dog attacks before they happen.

“Half of all children will be bitten by a dog by the time they’re high school seniors,” said Dr. John Fraser, of the Texas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “It’s so important for parents to supervise young children around dogs at all times, and it's just as important for children to be taught from an early age how to keep from being bitten.”

As responsible pet owners, it's our task to ensure our pets are well-cared for and under control at all times. Below is a list of ways that we can accomplish this.

  • Make sure your pets are licensed, spayed/neutered and current on vaccinations. Oftentimes, a reason for biting is because the animal is sick or in physical pain. Being a responsible caretaker means keeping pets healthy.
  • Obedience training can help any caretaker understand their pets. Some dogs just don't play well with others. If you have a pet who prefers to avoid crowds, listen to them.
  • Don't leave your pets alone for long periods of time. Dogs are social animals and do best when they are with their "pack." Whether you have one pet or twelve, it's important to allow regular interaction with you and your family. Keeping dogs tethered or confined for long periods of time can create "biters".
  • A dog's natural instinct is to chase and catch prey, so don't become prey. Avoid running from a dog, and never approach a pet that is tethered or confined.
  • Keep your pets leashed and never approach a dog that is leashed without permission from the owner. Whether the dog is a working or service animal, or just needs to feel a little more secure, it's never a good idea to approach an animal on a leash without express permission. This includes lowering your hand to 'brush past" the dog.
  • If an attack is imminent, do your best to place something between you and the dog. Anything from an umbrella to a backpack can be an effective deterrent.
  • When people come to your home, keep animal secured. Oftentimes, you don't know how a dog will react to an individual until it's too late. Dogs can be protective of their terrirtory and may interpret the actions of others in a way that is threatening.
  • Train children on how to approach animals. Never allow your children, or anyone else's children, to run towards your dog. The sudden movement can often startle an animal, and a pet that otherwise would never bite, may do so when startled.

“Dog bite prevention education cannot begin early enough,” said Kelly Voigt, 19, the victim of a savage dog attack when she was seven years old. She endured the pain of 100 stitches to her face as part of her recovery The experience was the catalyst behind the creation of Prevent The Bite, a non-profit organization that promotes dog bite prevention to young children. To date, Voigt has spoken before more than 10,000 elementary school students. To help educate the public about dog bites, the AVMA developed an online brochure:  www.avma.org/press/publichealth/dogbite/mediakit.asp. The AVMA also maintains a dog bite prevention facebook page. National Dog Bite Prevention Week® is a registered trademark of the American Veterinary Medical Association and is licensed for use to the United States Postal Service, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery.

Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.

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